Treasure Hunting in Muncie, Indiana

by Sally Taylor
Coins are okay to keep if they are less than 100 years old.

Coins are okay to keep if they are less than 100 years old.

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The Muncie, Indiana, area has been settled by humans since 1770, when the Indians first came to the area. By the late 1820s European settlers were arriving. By the mid-1800s they were building a train system. The area's long history of settlement gives treasure hunters today opportunities to find items lost or buried and not yet retrieved. You may just find a legendary bank robber's stash if you are lucky.

Treasure Hunting Laws

There are both national and local laws that treasure hunters in Muncie need to adhere to. Hunting with a metal detector is allowed on Indiana beaches, but when those beaches are within a park, such as Prairie Creek Reservoir, you may find restrictions on the use of metal detectors or the need to get a permit. Rules change fairly frequently, so check at park offices before attempting to hunt in a park. It is illegal in America to take artifacts that are over 100 years old and found on public land. If you dig up old artifacts, notify the Archaeology Department at Ball State University. You my get credit for an important find.

Private Land

If you can get permission, private land is the best place to hunt in the Muncie area. You do not need to follow laws to hunt on private property, but the owner's permission is necessary. If you are hunting inside of an old home, you will have to do much searching manually. In yards and fields, a metal detector can turn up lost or buried items. A metal detector can turn up all sorts of metal objects from coins to tools or old household items. People settling the region and people living during the Depression Era were known to hide whole caches of money and valuables on their land.

Public And Park Land

While it is legal to use a metal detector on public land, you need to have regard for laws about what you may keep. Park rules are subject to change so you may a permit to use a metal detector. Parks and well-traveled public land are good sources of recent lost items such as jewelry and coins. Your metal detector may also locate gold in creek bank gravels where it was dropped by glaciers that covered the state around 18,000 years ago. Railroad tracks are a source of old industry hardware or items lost by rail workers. Wherever there was human activity, you stand a chance of finding artifacts.

Treasure Legends And Stories

Locals can tell you legends about lost caches in almost every town you walk into. Some treasure hunters enjoy seeking out treasures known or thought to be buried. George "Dutch" Anderson and Gerald Chapman robbed a mail truck in 1921 in New York then fled to Muncie. They were caught, but Anderson escaped to a Muncie farm where he killed the owners and burnt the house. It is thought that some of the $127,000 cash, along with around $900,000 dollars in securities, is buried on or near the farm. Someday a lucky treasure hunter may just discover where this cache is located.

About the Author

An honor graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English and linguistics, Sally Taylor has contracted research and writing services since 1986. She has worked with organizations such as US West AT, and SW Bell Silver Pages.

Photo Credits

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